Man, it is no picnic having to deal with food allergies, especially when you’re out and about. It’s been a while since Frans was diagnosed with celiac disease. But, it’s still a struggle to find food for him when we’re away from home. We constantly have to worry about restaurants with gluten-free options and any potential cross-contamination. While some places are pretty knowledgeable about dealing with these cases (including using new gloves and utensils or getting condiments from fresh packages in the back), the majority are not. That’s why we prefer to bring gluten-free snacks and food with us, especially during family road trips.
Gluten-Free Snacks & Food Ideas
It can be challenging to find pre-packaged gluten-free foods that actually taste good. More often than not, the items are dry and are either tasteless or way over-seasoned. After many trial and error tastings, we finally found some options that we actually like eating. In fact, Munchkin and I will even eat them by choice! Plus, it’s so easy that we can just pop by a CVS Pharmacy to get most of these. These are the staples we try to bring with us.
- Gluten-free bread. We have found that bread by Udi’s and Franz taste the best. Yes, there’s a brand that has the same name as my husband, Frans, that makes GF bread. What a coincidence! As long as you have bread, you can pick up meat, cheese, cream cheese, etc. to put on it.
- Individual peanut butter packages. Peanut butter is filling and these small containers are much easier to transport. Don’t forget to pick up a plastic knife somewhere to spread it on your GF bread though.
- Gluten-free granola. Combine this with individual yogurt cups and you have a tasty and healthy parfait. We prefer the KIND brand since these use gluten-free oats but aren’t overly sweet.
- Tortillas. Most corn tortillas are gluten-free. However, Mission makes tasty gluten-free flour tortillas. These rip a bit easier so wraps might be challenging. But, the taste is actually pretty good.
- Snack bars. Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bars, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate are specifically labeled as gluten-free. As far as snack bars go, these taste great and are fantastic to hold you over until the next meal.
- Gummy snacks. Munchkin’s new favorite snacks are the Gold Emblem Abound Strawberry and Watermelon Sea Creature Fruit Bites. The name is super long but the ingredient list is not. It’s just fruit and fruit juices. That’s it.
- Marshmallow bars. Some rice cereal snack bars contain malt, which is also an allergen for those with celiac disease. That is not the case with Gold Emblem Abound Organic Brown Rice Marshmallow Bars. These are gluten-free as well as organic, dairy free, and free of egg whites. They not too flavorful but they’re still a nice filler snack.
- Popcorn. Most popcorn is safe unless it’s has a specific flavoring or is made on shared equipment. CVS Gold Emblem Abound Heavenly Light Popcorn is a great option. The Kettle Corn flavor tastes the same as the one I used to make — just oil, salt, and sugar. It soooooo good!
- Rice Crisps. To dip, to spread on, or to eat by themselves, CVS Gold Emblem Abound Baked Rice Crisps are definitely yummy. These come in sea salt, sea salt and vinegar, and barbecue (which is my fave).
- Fruit Clusters. For a guilt-free sweet snack, the Gold Emblem Abound Fuji Apple & Cinnamon Clusters are perfect. They’re light and have a unique texture.
Dealing with Food Allergies When Traveling
Traveling when someone in your party has food allergies is not easy. However, it can be done with some advance preparation. Bringing a few gluten-free snacks and food items will alleviate the stress if you can’t seem to find good allergy-friendly restaurants nearby. We’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to eating gluten-free on the go. Don’t forget to use your ExtraCare app to take advantage of any savings or ExtraBucks promotions that might be happening!
Disclosure: I’m proud to be working with CVS Pharmacy to help spread the word about how to #FindYourHealthy. All opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.